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#368847 03/14/14 01:30 PM
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I would like a second opinion on the pedigree of this fish (linked below). I am guessing 100% pure GSF. About 4.5-5" long.

Caught this out of our old refurbished pond last night while waiting to see if the FHM's would come up to the bank for some feed. Fortunately this is not out of our main pond.

I have made references in the past to this pond in previous threads, but here is a refresher. Pond was an old maybe half acre cow pond for watering livestock that had the dam broke and was nothing more than a puddle in the latest drought. I cleaned it out all but a tiny puddle in the middle that had some minnows (about the size of gams, but never identified them) and once in a while could see something a little larger moving. Maybe a yellow bullhead or GSF? Did not know. I had not discovered PBF at that time or probalby would have nuked the puddle. But I did not. Cleaned the pond out all around the puddle and expanded it to near an acre. Pond filled and I added a small amount of FHM year ago last March, 10 5-6" BG last summer and 125 3" RES late last fall.

I fear esshup's warnings of his experience with two ponds, RES and green sunfish in one of them will come to fruition. I'm afraid the RES will not stand a chance at recruitment.

If only I had found PBF earlier. If only. Oh well, when life throws you lemmons, make lemonaide.

I'm NOT going to nuke the pond now. I have a 3 acre pond to play with and this old pond was just an afterthought anyway. So I am determined to manage it best I can to make it something other than just a pool of water with some fish in it. Who knows, maybe it will just become a kids pond with lots of GSF that are easy to catch for my three smallest grandkids. But I am going to try to avoid that.

I think the RES that I put in should have been big enough to escape predation by any GSF that would have been in the pond. Likely, based on what I could see in the puddle, the GSF would have needed to be tiny for the most part so I don't think they could have got to size to eat the RES. I would guess this one GSF I caught would be the largest size, and it could not get a 3" RES in its mouth. So at least I should have the original 125 in there, even if the GSF eliminate any RES recruitment. The BG were put in the pond early enough in the summer they likely would have gotten off a spawn, although I have not done anything to verify that.

So here is the question, assuming I am NOT going to nuke the pond now. What would be a good course of action to manage around these GSF best I can? I had envisioned a mostly RES heavy pond and introducing just enough predators to keep the BG from over populating. If the GSF got a head start, from what esshup has conveyed in his prior experience (if I can find his post on that subject later will try to link it here), that likely will not happen now. The GSF will outrun the RES and wipe out any potential recruitment.

My initial thought is to go catch a bunch of 6" BG out of my main pond and put them in this old refurb pond, with the intention that if a population of sunfish explosion is imminent, I would rather it be BG than GSF. Then later put in adequate predators to controll the sunfish. Yesterday I caught 8 6" BG and about 7# of FHM from my main pond and transferred to sons pond. FHM were going crazy and in 30 minutes would fill up my minnow trap half full when I put a dozen floating pellets in the trap. BG were biting well for about an hour then backed off. Grandkids (sons kids)are supposed to be here today after school to "help" with stocking of sons pond by catching BG. Son's pond

So I think I could get some adult BG in there for recruitment to maybe over power the GSF population.

This is not a high priority pond. It is my experimental pond. It does not have to be perfect. But I would like it to be something other than just a GSF overrun pond. This may be my "Jon Monroe" pond where it evolves into different things.

Welcome suggestions or ideas as to what would be a good management option to manage around GSF, as well as confirmation on the fish really being a GSF. Open to suggestions as to what would be a good "goal" for this pond.

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017.JPG 022.JPG Dad's old pond refurbed cropped.jpg Dad's old cow pond.JPG
Last edited by snrub; 03/14/14 01:39 PM.

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Yep! GSF.

Before you throw some BG in there, there are only FHM, RES and GSF? With maybe some bullheads?

If so, and you want to experiment, I'd toss in 50 HSB as a test. They won't spawn and overpopulate like LMB might.

If you toss some BG in there, then you'll have to toss in some LMB, either single sex or mixed to control the BG.


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How big is the pond? Area and depth?

With only 10 Bg in there, you might get some hybrid BG naturally. If you do catch any BG, take them out.

I'd consider feeding in the pond, and if there are kids in the extended family, it would make a pretty good kids fishing pond.

I might adjust the amount of HSB once the size of the pond is known.


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Thanks for the suggestion.

Charles Wallace from Wallace Fish Farms, my fish guy that the RES came from, originally suggested a HBG-HSB pond with the RES for the traditional parasite control. But I already had a big pond to fish in and did not see the additional need for a put and take fish pond with the HBG. So I foo-fooed the idea. But he had also come up with the HSB idea for sunfish control without the overpopulation problem of the LMB like you are suggesting. So I will keep that in mind.

I had already put 10 4-6" BG fairly late last summer. So the BG are already in there. Another problem with not having a plan to begin with. I put the BG in before I decided to lean towards a RES heavy pond. Did not even know if a RES pond would work, but this was intended as an experimental pond so thought I would give it a try. For some reason RES just seem to fascinate me. Have no idea why.

Just a matter if I want more BG recruitment or more GSF recruitment. My thinking was that more BG fry competing with the GSF fry would be better than letting the GSF fry have the pond all to themselves.

Will the RES spawn this year? They were about 3" when I put them in very late last fall. Probably not over a few weeks of good growth time before water got cold, so I wonder if they will get of spawning age/size this year? If not, that really is going to put the GSF with a head start............. assuming there are more of them in there.

Wanna hear something else stupid? I threw the fish back in the pond!!!!! At first thinking it might be a hybrid and threw it back. Then the "duh" moment hit me, and realized that the size of this fish and when I put the BG in there was no way this fish was recruitment from the BG I had put in. Looked at the pictures on my phone again......big mouth, slender shape............Ughhhhhhh. When it comes to ponds I feel like I'm a sixteen year old again trying to get up nerve to ask a girl to dance. KIND OF AWKWARD.

Last edited by snrub; 03/14/14 02:04 PM.

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The RES might spawn this year, but with only 125 in there, I doubt the spawn would amount to much recruitment with the GSF in there. BG will dominate the pond if you don't do anything else.

O.K. One acre. Want RES. There are 10 BG in there now. Who knows how many GSF. Don't want a "big fish" pond.

Sound about right?


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Would you entertain the idea of feeding the fish in that pond? Either by hand every day or with an auto fish feeder?

What other goals do you have for that pond?

Last edited by esshup; 03/14/14 02:27 PM.

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""I had envisioned a mostly RES heavy pond and introducing just enough predators to keep the BG from over populating.""

In my experiences about the only way you can create a RES heavy pond is to have them in there by themselves. If you don't want them to stunt and want then to get bigger you will need to thin their numbers and this is usually done with predators. In a RES heavy pond what do we expect them to eat to grow well? The pond will not produce enough snails to feed a lot or very many RES. I don't think RES compete well with other sunfish for non-mollusk items.

I think the GSF reproduction will soon (1-3yrs) outpace the BG predation.

You have a dilemma. I'm not sure that a RES "heavy" pond is a realistic goal. Someone please prove me wrong with an example. As above: What do RES eat for good, fast growth when they are abundant and RES are the dominant sunfish in a pond?

Your problem is contamination by GSF. Without bass in my experience GSF become the dominant fish in most habitats.

You might want to redefine your goals and use HBG instead of RES or include LMB in the stocking. LMB will prey heavily on the GSF then resort eating whatever is often most commonly encountered.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/14/14 03:05 PM.

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What is your experience on how RES will do with GSH, YP, and SMB? In terms of size and numbers?

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RES can function long term and do some recruitment with GSH, YP and SMB. Don't expect them to be common.


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Originally Posted By: esshup
The RES might spawn this year, but with only 125 in there, I doubt the spawn would amount to much recruitment with the GSF in there. BG will dominate the pond if you don't do anything else.

O.K. One acre. Want RES. There are 10 BG in there now. Who knows how many GSF. Don't want a "big fish" pond.

Sound about right?



Pretty close. But I don't mind big fish, it is just not particularly a specific goal.

I figured LMB would be my predator of choice simply because a few hundred feet away is my main pond and figured I would just catch LMB and put them in this pond as needed for sunfish control, whatever the specific sunfish variety population ends up. That was my original plan, I just was not planning on the GSF.

Have no idea if there are a lot or just a few GSF in there, but at any rate their population will rapidly expand this year when they spawn, most likely I would think. Especially till I get some predators in there.


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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
""I had envisioned a mostly RES heavy pond and introducing just enough predators to keep the BG from over populating.""

In my experiences about the only way you can create a RES heavy pond is to have them in there by themselves. If you don't want them to stunt and want then to get bigger you will need to thin their numbers and this is usually done with predators. In a RES heavy pond what do we expect them to eat to grow well? The pond will not produce enough snails to feed a lot or very many RES. I don't think RES compete well with other sunfish for non-mollusk items.

I think the GSF reproduction will soon (1-3yrs) outpace the BG predation.

You have a dilemma. I'm not sure that a RES "heavy" pond is a realistic goal. Someone please prove me wrong with an example. As above: What do RES eat for good, fast growth when they are abundant and RES are the dominant sunfish in a pond?

Your problem is contamination by GSF. Without bass in my experience GSF become the dominant fish in most habitats.

You might want to redefine your goals and use HBG instead of RES or include LMB in the stocking. LMB will prey heavily on the GSF then resort eating whatever is often most commonly encountered.


Ok, thanks. LMB stocking in modest numbers was in the original plan and still is. I was going to let the RES spawn this year and add the LMB next year.

I would agree that my goals may not be realistic. If I had it to do over, I would have nuked the standing water (was only about 4" of water 20' in diameter. The pond was that close to being entirely dried up), Put only FHM and RES in the pond, then added the predator as needed to control the RES. I realize once the LMB were introduced eventually they would over populate, but was hoping it would take a few years if stocking numbers were low to begin with.

The above plan might not have even succeeded, but it would have had a better chance of doing so (at least for a few years) than with the GSF and BG in there.

The tens of thousands of snails in my main pond was what gave me the idea that a RES pond might work. Along with FHM for food. But I imagine you are right, what looks like a lot of snails probably would not be enough of a food source for the RES. So probably a poor goal.

I suspect now it will become a traditional BG/LMB pond with some RES and some pesky GSF thrown in. Worst case it will become over populated with small stunted sunfish or over populated with LMB, like about 90% of the ponds in this area that receive little to no management. Most of them are GSF/LMB ponds unless the owner had a specific interest in ponds. Many were stocked out of creeks and whatever was caught thrown into the pond and whatever lived and thrived is what is there. Actually managing the fish is a foreign idea to a lot of farmers.

Like I said, it is not my main pond. So if it does not turn out perfect it is not the end of the world for me. But I would like the challenge of trying to do something with it by managing around the problems.

Maybe I'll get lucky and that was the only GSF in there.................LOL. Dream on smirk

Thanks for all the thought and good info. Not only for this post but the many others you and others have posted that have helped me understand ponds much better than I did a year ago.

Last edited by snrub; 03/14/14 09:55 PM.

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Originally Posted By: esshup
Would you entertain the idea of feeding the fish in that pond? Either by hand every day or with an auto fish feeder?

What other goals do you have for that pond?


Probably not. I actually really enjoy hand feeding and that is more enjoyable to me than fishing. I like to watch the activity after the feed is put out. FHM's have been going nuts the last couple days. BG just starting to show a little activity. But we travel a lot and are not always around. We got rid of all livestock and have no pets so we can travel without leaving obligations for others at home, so the fish have to be able to be left to their own devices quite a bit of the time. I don't want to put the obligation on someone else to have to fill the feeders while we are away.

What other goals for this pond? It be one of my diversions to keep me entertained now that I am not needed for the day to day operations around the farm. Once a person is no longer needed for the daily grind, he has to find something that is hopefully not illegal or immoral to keep him entertained and fill up the day. Some call it retirement.

Last edited by snrub; 03/14/14 10:08 PM.

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Originally Posted By: esshup
How big is the pond? Area and depth?

With only 10 Bg in there, you might get some hybrid BG naturally. If you do catch any BG, take them out.

I'd consider feeding in the pond, and if there are kids in the extended family, it would make a pretty good kids fishing pond.

I might adjust the amount of HSB once the size of the pond is known.



It is just a hair under an acre, according to the last Google Earth pic. Max depth is 9' at full pool but not a lot of area at that depth. A fair amount of shallows, as I expanded the pond by going around it with a backhoe even after it initially filled after the initial refurbishment. No plan along with extra machinery sitting around not being used and time on my hands. Not a well thought out master plan.

Like I said, this is my experimental pond. In so many ways.

Had three of the grandkids at 10,9 and 6 ages come up today after school to fish for BG out of our main pond to stock the pond I refurbished for them. BG action still a little slow with the cold water, although it was pretty good for about an hour yesterday.


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I have a feeder on the pond, and one bag (50#) lasts a month. TH makes larger feeders, so you could be gone for probably 3-4 months and still not run out of food. In my pond, I still hand feed when I'm there, and the fish know it. They'll follow my footsteps to the feeder and I grab a handfull of food & toss it in the pond. When they clean it up, if I have the time, I'll throw out another handfull and continue to watch them.

I have RES eating pellets off the bottom in my pond, and they'll grab the slowly sinking pellets too.

Since this is a test pond, let me throw this at you. Stock 500-700 of the largest RES that you can find this Spring. If they are 5"-6" then they should spawn this year. As soon as it cools down enough in the Fall, stock 75 HSB about 10" long. Feed 'em until you leave, then empty out the feeder until you get back in the Spring and the water warms up.

Putting in HSB instead of LMB means you can always put in LMB, but once the LMB are in there, they are in there. This year, yank out every GSF and BG that you catch.


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I can only speak from GSF experience in Southern ponds.

They only spawn annually and, sooner or later, seem to disappear. They just get out spawned by the BG. And, I think that's a shame. They will out fight a BG every time. I think of them as a fun fish and have stocked them several times.


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Great info guys. That is what I was looking for.......ideas.

Will ponder it a while and decide.

Thanks


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DD1 says: ""They only spawn annually and, sooner or later, seem to disappear. They just get out spawned by the BG."" I also find this usually true PROVIDING there are LMB in the pond. LMB seem to eat a proportionally larger amount of GSF compared to BG when both sunfish are present is similar numbers until the GSF become scarce. If it is an experimental pond I like esshup's idea of adding HSB and see how the GSF perform with HSB as predator??? Doesn't work add LMB. Interesting test for all of us to learn from.


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Interesting, and good point about always being able to add LMB later. Like esshup pointed out, once LMB are in there, they are there to stay.

Be in the land down under for 10 days, but when get back will fish it hard. BG and GSF should be very active by that date. Will pull out any BG and GSF I can catch. Maybe that will give me a better idea of the amount of GSF in there. Have some tiny hooks and plenty of earth worms.

If hardly catch any GSF, may just let things go as they are till late summer.

Esshups idea of adding more RES is interesting, but I had a heck of a time getting the 250 (125 each pond) I got. Fish truck did not have any and I took all Wallace could get out of his sort. Seems there was a poor hatch or something for RES for this area last year. Maybe better this year or could find another source.

Put about 3 pounds FHM in yesterday trapped from main pond to give the RES some

Last edited by snrub; 03/15/14 03:20 PM.

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Is Hartleys Fish Farm closer to you?

http://www.hartleyfishfarmsinc.com/

Depending how far east you are, there are a LOT of fish farms in Arkansas.


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Maybe a 4 hr drive or so. We are right in SE corner of Ks


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A 4 hr drive is well worth taking to get some desired and needed fish. Make it a day trip with your best friend. Or spend an overnight and come home the next day. Either way it is a small amount to pay for premium fish that will create lots of family memories. About all fish farms have facilities to bag fish and oxygenate the bags for safe travel home. The main and most important rule to remember for this is to get the fish while the weather and water is cool. Then your survival rate of the fish will be much better. Also for a 4 hr trip tell the fish farm employee to NOT over crowd the fish in the bags for best chances of travel and arrival. Ask if they have a guarantee of live arrival if you go straight home. This will emphasize low stocking rates in the fish bags.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/16/14 02:11 PM.

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Ok, thanks for the advice on transporting live fish. I wondered how long fish would survive in a bag and what point a guy would need to go to some sort of live aerated container.

I could probably rig up a tank of sorts with aeration if I needed to, but sounds like the bags would suffice.

I'm assuming the larger the fish, the more difficult to transport safely in a bag?

Adding some more RES would certainly give me a better chance at what I am trying to do. Had the pond been "clean" I just thought I would let the RES and FHM reproduce up to the point of needing predators, then introduce the predation. Thus the low initial numbers would work. But with other competing fish, and aggressive fish to boot, likely like esshup provided example in another old thread, the GSF would keep the newly hatched RES from ever making it to adults.

Thanks again for all the good info from everyone.


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Check this thread: http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=353657

It's about hauling trout on a budget. I'm sure there are more threads in the archives if you take a look.

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I built a 5 acre pond 4 years ago. Don't know how but found out I had green sunfish and crappie in pond. With my stocking plan blown, I decided to try something else. I purchased 85 1 to 3 pound LMB, and 250 6 inch LMB. I never catch a green sunfish now and the crappie I am catching are nice in size. The bass did their job. Now, 3 years later , I am starting to catch bass of all different sizes. No sign of stunting yet, but will start taking my first bass out this year.Plan on buying more flat head minnows, also have lots of copper nose BG. Spend the money on the large bass, they are worth it, plus you have nice fish to catch right off the bat.

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Ok, thanks for the input Russell. I stocked my main pond with LMB last fall, so the tentative plan is as these fish gain size to catch some of them and transfer over to this old refurbished pond. It appears that at the stocking rate of 100 LMB per acre on my main pond (3 acres, 300 LMB), that is on the high side from what most of the experts are now recomending. So I should be able to catch some of these LMB and transfer them over to the old pond as needed. Old refurbished pond is about an acre.

As a further update to the "project"............. I have not caught any more GSF, although have only fished it a couple hours two different days. Hope to get more time to fish it to see what is there.

But............ did catch two yellow bullheads last night and four tonight. So the bullheads I suspected would be there are really there. Likely more than just a few.

So at this juncture I have to make a decision of when to put the apex predators in the pond. If those bullheads get a spawn off later this summer with nothing in the pond to control the offspring, I could end up with a pond full of stunted bullheads. All the bullheads looked very healthy (have been feeding them pellets mad). A couple were 9", the others were slightly smaller.

Also put in 100 more + or - 1-2" RES and who knows what else. See thread Ye old fish truck strikes again. I picked out about 50 of the biggest and best to grow out in my forage pond, another 50 or so went 25 each to son's and daughters refurbished ponds, and the remaining went in this pond. Was going to put some in my main pond, but with the uncertainty surrounding what I was getting, did not want to take the chance of contaminating my main pond. So this pond got whatever these fish were, that were supposed to be RES. Hopefully most were actually RES. With them being small fish (that I am not good enough at identification of such small fish), they might end up being a snack for the bullheads or GSF. Fish were supposed to be 3-4" but what was left over after keeping the biggest for the forage pond, they were more like 1-2".

May have another 250 1-3" RES to put in later as the fish truck promised to bring some more because of my dissatisfaction from the first bunch of fish. They could not promise me larger fish.

So that is the situation as it stands. Now have to decide what to do about predators because of the bullheads.

Keeps it interesting I guess.

Last edited by snrub; 05/07/14 11:56 PM.

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